Ronda Rousey Was Emotional After Receiving This Gift From A WWE HOFer

Ronda Rousey's fighting career has long been defined by a fierce intensity, but her professional wrestling career kicked off with an emotional interaction with the family of a WWE Hall of Famer.

Just before Rousey made her WWE debut at the Royal Rumble in January 2018, the UFC Hall of Famer was given a sentimental gift by the son of her childhood hero and namesake, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. Rousey has used the "Rowdy" nickname in honor of Piper since her days fighting in mixed martial arts.


The heartwarming scene was first shared in an ESPN story about Rousey's debut by Ramona Shelburne: Piper's son, Colton Toombs, came backstage before the UFC star's appearance in the women's Royal Rumble match and gave her his father's jacket. Rousey "was moved to tears" by the gift, according to Shelburne.

Rousey told ESPN that Piper, who died in July 2015, "was just such a good man."

"I didn't spend that much time with him, but he was such a huge influence on my life," Rousey said. "He really made me realize how big of a responsibility I have because of what he did for me mostly from afar."

Rousey also told ESPN that Piper had previously given her approval to use the nickname when they met during a training session years prior. Rousey dedicated her match at UFC 190 to Piper after the late wrestling star died in 2015.


Since debuting in the WWE, Rousey continues to use the "Rowdy" nickname and often appears in a leather jacket akin to Piper's character. Rousey has enjoyed a similar championship-level success as her hero in the WWE, as well, winning both the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship and the WWE RAW Women's Championship since kicking off her professional wrestling career with her surprise 2018 debut.